Spontaneous dynamic qigong, involuntary motion qigong, and psychological medicine

Author: Wu Caiyun//Xu Peixi
Affiliation: Suzhou Medical College, Jiangsu Province, China [1]
Conference/Journal: 1st World Conf Acad Exch Med Qigong
Date published: 1988
Other: Pages: 123 , Word Count: 929

Qigong is closely related to psychological medicine from both theoretical and - practical points of view. Research on qigong may lead us to have a better understanding of the mysteries involved in linking the mind and the body of an individual. Qigong has been used in treatment of certain neurological and psychological diseases. It is a training including self control, self-support, relaxation and biofeedback- Hence it is possible that a thorough investigation of qigong would shed light on the role of qigong in psychological medicine.

Qigong is generally classified into two groups, quiescent qigong and dynamic qigong exercises. In addition, dynamic qigong has a spontaneous type--spontaneous dynamic qigong (SDQ). However, the interpretation and evaluation of SDQ vary with different researchers. Some considered SDQ as a modified form of qigong, whereas some considered it as an integral part of qigong. For example, Hexiangzhuang Qigong consists of quiescent dynamic and spontaneous qigong.

It was estimated in 1983 that approximately 15 millions of people in China were practising Hexiangzhuang Qigong. During the process of practice, various spontaneous motions occurred in 90% of the people. The spontaneous (involuntary) motions were marked by automatic, primitive and reflective features. It sometimes was accompanied by emotional changes—crying. laughing, shouting or dancing etc. Therefore, people once doubted whether these changes were the symptoms of hysteria.

We have investigated the effect of spontaneous qigong on medical psychology. The results indicate that spontaneous qigong and hysteria are two different phenomena and belong to different concepts.

In 1984, in parks and sportsground we examined the personality --introversion or extroversion type, and MMPI of 18 hysteria trainees and of 40 instructors in the Hexiangzhuang Qigong training class. The results showed that the introversion type personality accounted for 67%. Among the 48 qigong trainees (32 males,16 females), the average age was 50.3 years old, ranging from ]2 to 73, and 69 J of them graduated from high school or above. Involuntary (spontaneous) motions were found to occur in 93% of these individuals (90% of the males, 100% of the females) during practice. All of the qigong trainees expressed that they were able to control their own mind. Among the 10 instructors (32 males. 8 females), 50% of them had received education at high school levels or above, and 62.5% were government officials and scientific researchers.

Total validity and T value in clinical scale of MMPI were distributed in normal range. Therefore, it appeared to be convincing that neither the qigong trainees nor the instructors represented a special group of population who were prone to hysteria. Not being self-centered, emotional or suggestible, all qigong trainees had a definite aim before doing the exercise. They were perfectly conscious during the process of practice. The will-power seems to play a major role in initiation, control and completion of the qigong exercise.

In most cases hysteria attacks suddenly, and patients exhibit a functional disorder of sensory motor and of autonomic nerves or transient mental abnormality. Hysteria has characteristic symptoms which are produced and disappeared with suggestions. Most cases occur in females aged from 16 to 30. Hysteria is usually due to acute or continuous mental stress. These patients often have peculiar personality. According to epidemiological data, foreign morbidity of hysteria is 0.5%, whereas hysteria incidence in Baoding City, (Hebei province, China) is 0.16%.

The difference between SDQ and hysteria:
SDQ Hysteria
________________ _______________________________ _________________________
Age 50 16 to 30
Education level high school (60%) illiterate(52%)
Sex more for males(70%) more for females
Personality 2/3 for introvert more for extrovert 67%
MMPI in normal range for T value high in
1, 3,7 clinical scale
Cause on increasing health 73.4% of mental stress
and medical wish
Mechanism of 'breathing scatter suggestion
motion pathogenic focus'
Incidence 93.8% 0.3%
Aim active, will dominating over passive. avoid reality
Nature of motion physiological pathological
Emotion relaxation, quiesc ence emotional
Consciousness clear unclear
Ending spontaneous involving suggestion
Time several ten minutes up to hours or days
After SDQ comfortable, fresh tired, somnolent

It would hamper the development of qigong, if SDQ is mistakenly identified as hysteria. In this paper we examined the mental disturbance of 5 cases--3 hysteria and 2 schizophrenia after the qigong exercise. At present all of the qigong schools have emphasized that people with hysterical trait or with history of psychosis are not suitable to practise qigong . Based on this information, we were led to hypothesis that qigong may potentiare hysteria and schizophrenia.

The present study demonstrated that the relaxing and calming state achieved during the qigong exercise is different from common sleep, hypnosis, artificial hibernation or twilight state. It is a fresh and functional state of the human body, and it may activate conscious activity, thereby making certain qualitative changes at the conscious level. Such changes may link conscious activity with the internal environment of the human body and thus transform the unconscious processes into conscious ones. SDQ may regulate the mental activity by amplifying the expression of automatic reflex and primitive rhythmical actions. These actions belong to the range of unconsciousness and depressed potentiality.

There are many similarities between the idea of consciousness--unconsciousness and the consciousness level in the psychoanalysis theory. The expression of hysteria is a symbolic manifestation of unconscious thinking process. The unconscious wish of hysteria is fulfilled in part through practising qigong.

Bleuler suggests that the primary disorder of schizophrenia is the incoordination between thought and affection, and that the link of ideas becomes loose (incoherent idealization). It is possible that qigong may further loose the already loose chain of ideas. In view of the possibility that qigong may potentate hysteria and schizophrenia, it is evident that qigong can regulate unconsciousness. By studying these phenomena qigong can bring potential power and unconsciousness into full play. We trust that it is possible to gain a better insights into the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of mental diseases.